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I use TTVJ Deluxe Flats on all my Grados.
Earlier in this thread I came down against removal of the (mine: magnetic) screen. I find finger snaps, and lower wood stringed instruments (not) bass to lose body and resonance (James Taylor "Grandma's Hands" on Chesky good example of finger snaps. Also the rear of the stage seems gone. There is certainly a sense of openness that hits one right away, and the bass reduces - which can be good since they are a little thick in the mid/upper bass. OTOH the sound gets tipped up to the highs which is bad IMO since they are a bit bright.
Then there is the safety aspect of full removal with no replacement. I'd like to try a very open grill in the style of the new "window shades" of the HFM Ananda/HEX, etc. I'd try felting the inside edges too, and being magnetic would be good to grab any magnetic bits on the way to the membrane.
The 4XX is a great budget can, but its not as accurate/flat as HD-600, nor is it a match for the HE-500. It's a fun, but colored can that has a big sound - probably not for classical, but nice on most 1950+ music.
I have to think that with the advent of the recent 3.5mm at-the-cups change to the 4XX and, apparently the 400i (in addition to the Sundara and maybe the whole lineup...) that someone is going to start competing a bit to provide aftermarket SE and balanced cables for these cans that have the 2 x 3.5 and 1 x 3.5 SE, 2.5 (balanced) or XLR at the source end. At this point they're few and far between.
I think the removal or alternate grill is dependent on the headphone and how it responds, for me using a grill that is more open does wonders for the sound stage and gets rid of some perceived ringing on my HE400, HE400i and HE560 but it might be due to the fact that these are all older SMC version with a back plate.
On the 4XX I find it opens the front of the sound stage, but it's the changes to the back of the soundstage that took away my breath - but not in a good way. I finally found a more open grill that is magnetic to play with, it'll take a few days to get here and to cut it/prep it/install it. I'd like to get to whatever works the best w.r.t. this topic.
I got a great set of balanced cables from a member here. $75 shipped. Let me know if you want some details. 3.5mm trs to 2.5mm trrs.
I threw these together the other day whilst watching the Kansas City Chiefs game, for my 2.5mm 4XX 'phones:
Color me interested.
Hi Pal, I just wanted to thank you for the review of my cables, I vaguely remember you buying them last year!
I am very glad to see you here. The cables are so good that I am not sure how much quality improvement I get from the balanced connection and how much from the quality of the cable.( Actually from both!!!)
I will also use them soon with xDSD so I might need the adapter we discussed.
One thing is that as I understand from other threads not all realise how customisable (especially in terms of length) are your cables maybe you need to remphasize that.
I've got an aluminum "grill" that has holes 3/4" across, the open space is probably about 72-75% due to how I centered them. They are about .15" thick but weigh little being aluminum. Going to felt the bottoms (like the inside edges), and let them rip. I gave them two coat of paint, plus a clear coat, look pretty good themselves but the driver etc. underneath doesn't look so well. Forget the rings, too thick, have them blue tacked in.
Cool. Plus, it gives it that "industrial" look.
Now it has to beat open and stock grill. Got a big boost with a new CD reader and a digital coax connection - so it should be easier to tell.
If they don't work out let me know, I have some of the grill material left and I estimate that I can build 4-5 more grills that will look like the one I posted earlier in this thread IIRC, if not this is what they look like:
My HE560, grill with gold silk organza to keep dog hair out.